It’s amazing how little you can fill your time with when you have nothing all that much to do, or at the very least no workplace to attend everyday.
Looking back over August, September and October, and even the first couple of weeks in November, before I started my new job, it was a whole lot of nothing.
OK, that’s not strictly true, I have managed to keep up with my Goodreads challenge and should manage to finish book 24 before the end of the year (currently a third of the way through book 23 – Wuthering Heights), and I did also complete NaNoWriMo after several years of promising to do it and not even managing to start it, ohhhh and I did setup my own limited company, get a business bank account and all that stuff but that’s mainly just filling out a lot of forms and I’m not sure it really counts as an achievement as much as a necessity. I managed to get new forums launched on the ISTC website which took more effort than I had anticipated but… those things aside, turns out I did a whole lotta nothing.
Case in point, I bought an oven cleaning kit not long after getting made redundant, thinking I’d have plenty of time during my days; I had a holiday in September already booked so my thinking was I’d find work when I got back, giving myself time to deal with the shock of being made redundant and have a good look around at the alternatives so, essentially, I had August and the first couple of weeks in September to myself to do with as I pleased.
And, as it turns out, the rest of September, all of October, and most of November too.
After the first few weeks of largely not giving a fuck, sleeping in, staying up late, eating takeaway, you know, ‘coping/dealing’ with being made redundant for the third time, I gave myself a bit of a kick (with two other lovely ladies giving me gentle nudges as well) and tried my best to make sure I got out of bed at a reasonable time in the morning.
I did, rising from my pit between 8 and 8.30 most days but then, a little too frequently, that just meant that instead of lying in bed doing nothing, I sat on the sofa and did nothing by way of watching old episodes of Frasier and latterly the West Wing. Afternoons meant random noodling on the internet, chores, the occasional wander out for coffee or shopping, and some trips to the cinema.
A whole lotta not very much.
Fast forward to today and I’m in the second week of working full-time again and have to admit that whilst it’s been a bit of an adjustment, I’m feeling good, and I think I’m getting back to a version of my old self, probably because I don’t have quite so much time rattling about in my own head which is never a great place to be at the best of times.
My job is a lot less stressful than my previous one, I’ve a lot fewer responsibilities and, as I’m contracting, it’s pretty much gonna be 9 to 5 as they don’t pay overtime. The life of a contractor will take some adjustment too (thanks to those who offered advice!); I’m already finding myself biting my tongue so I’m not the ‘new guy who has come in and thinks he know better’, and I’m trying instead to be the ‘new guy who has experience doing this kind of thing and who has some gentle suggestions that might make things better for everyone’.
For now I’m just happy to be working – I will be very happy when my first income since July hits my bank early January – and I’ve got plenty of things to fill my spare time (two gorgeous partners not withstanding). I’m also looking forward to a quiet (cheap!) Christmas and New Year, the latter because the four of us have booked a lodge for a few nights of peace and quiet away from the usual New Year nonsense.
Until then I’ve got a few weeks to figure out how things work at my new place of work before an enforced two week holiday when the office shuts down over Christmas which, whilst it means I won’t get paid for those weeks does mean I might have time to finally clean my oven.
It may also mean that I’ll get back in the habit of writing here, although come January I’ll be revisiting my NaNoWriMo scribblings so I might still be a bit ‘worded out’, and there is the not small matter of my sister being due to have a baby!
It’ll be interesting to see how 2016 pans out. The only thing I’ve got planned so far is Glastonbury, but I’m sure I’ll fit in another holiday or two along the way.
2015 has been an odd year, but I finish it feeling lucky and acknowledging my privileged position. I have a job, a roof over my head, the support of my friends and family, and two amazing women who have been more helpful than they realise when I was getting my head around the redundancy.